Washington, D.C.’s startup ecosystem is expected to get a major boost thanks to Amazon’s imminent HQ2 arrival in Crystal City, Virginia. What’s more, local schools are opening satellite campuses and innovations centers nearby, which is bound to bring more tech talent to the nation’s capital. But there is more to the area than just Amazon and politics.

Startup Neighborhoods

Georgetown U grads don’t stray far from campus to start companies, creating a hub among the Georgetown neighborhood’s colorful row houses and high-end boutiques. Fast-casual salad company Sweetgreen launched close to Georgetown Cupcake, and the nonprofit Halcyon House (headquartered in a haunted mansion) helps early-stage entrepreneurs with social missions.

If salad and cupcakes don’t cut it, head to NoMa (North of Massachusetts Avenue). This hotbed of eatery innovation hosts culinary accelerator Union Kitchen, watering holes like Red Bear Brewing Co., and Union Market, a 40-plus-vendor hall packed with food stalls and funky shops.

Home to grocery app Basket and stock media startup Storyblocks, Arlington, Virginia, boasts low tax rates and Amazon’s coming HQ2 to stoke a warm entrepreneurial scene, says Jeff Reid, founding director of Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Recent Exits

  • Event-organizing platform Social Tables to Cvent, for a reported $100 million (2018)
  • Cloud-computing startup Appian in an initial public offering, for $75 million (2017)
  • Analytics software maker Applied Predictive Technologies to Mastercard, for $600 million (2015)